Syllabus SPRING 2012 Research Methods 250

17 Aug

Experimental Psychology  SPRING  2012

The latest version of the syllabus is always here. Check for any updates.

Course Title: HC PSYCH 250 Experimental Psychology

Lecture: Tuesdays 10:10AM to 13:00 AM in HN C114

Laboratory: Wednesdays 10:10AM to 13:00 PM in HN 614 (no food or liquid in labs).

Course Agenda: Acquire the basics of social research skills, including effective writing and communication.

Teacher: Tricia Striano, PhD, Habil


Academic research & contact webpage of Tricia Striano

Teaching Blog of Tricia Striano:

Phone: 212 772 5678

Office hours: Wed @ 9:10  by appointment. Please sign up 48 hours in advance, as office hours are on a first come first serve basis. Please do not email or call with your questions or concerns.  I dedicate weekly office hours to answer your questions. 

Office Location: East 1202.

TA: Dr. Shanta Suku


Office hours: by appointment.

Recommended text:

Understanding Research Methods: An Overview of the Essentials (7th edition). Pyrczak Press. ISBN-13: 9781884585838

Required Text: American Psychological Association Publication Manual, 6th edition

You will also need a journal/notebook log that you will always bring to class and hand in from time to time. It should not contain material from other classes, etc. and should be dedicated to this class.


If it is impossible to call my office, you may contact me by email:

Please note that emails may be read first by an assistant. It is important that emails are written in a professional and effective way. If a professional request is not provided, the request will be deleted by an assistant and you will not obtain a response.

Note: You are not required to post any assignment on public blog. If you feel more comfortable, please email it directly to TA.

Directions on emailing: In the subject heading of your mail write: EXPERIMENTAL CLASS. Any email which does not have appropriate heading will be deleted by an assistant. In your email clearly write the reason for your request or correspondence (see examples provided below).

To all – Only use hunter college email address when contacting Professor Tricia Striano. If you do not have a Hunter College email address, please obtain one. All other emails will be deleted prior to reading.

A serious problem: Problems and unforeseen or unfortunate circumstances do occur on rare occasions. Under some circumstances, you may encounter a serious personal problem or situation that prevents you from completing the course or from completing your individual assignments. In these cases, please contact your academic advisor who will advise you if you should seek professional attention. Your advisor can also discuss whether you should withdraw from the course, take an incomplete, or CR. It is your responsibility to seek out the appropriate support and guidance so that you can excel in your coursework at your own pace.

Ill and contagious: A doctor’s note is advisable. There are no makeup assignments, but everyone is able to do one extra-credit assignment, counting for up to 100 percent credit for the missed class. This extra credit will be applied toward Class Participation Score.

Example of a proper and professional email:

To Tricia Sriano

From John Smith

Date April 28, 2008


Dear Professor Striano,

I enjoyed the class yesterday on experimental design. I think that I have a good idea on a new method for my project. I would like to discuss this idea with you. I think the meeting will take 30 minutes. Would it be possible to arrange an appointment for Wednesday 4th at 11 am, or on Thursday 5th at 2 pm? If these times are not convenient for you, could you suggest a more convenient one? Thank you very much.


John Smith

Improper and unprofessional email:

To Tricia Sriano

From John Smith

Date April 28, 2008

Subject: John here!

Hey Prof!

John from your class here Prof, so sorry that I missed class yesterday. I had to work overtime at the gym because Susan my colleague has morning sickness. Can you let me know what I missed? If I don’t hear back, I’ll just drop by your office Be sure to listen or me knocking on your door. See ya next week Prof! You are the best! I have to work the next 4 classes, but will check in with you soon! John

Prepare for disaster: Find 2 class partners on the first day of class. Did you forget to take notes? Did your computer crash the day before the assignment is due? Call your CLASS PARTNERS and figure out a solution. Obtain your class partner’s contact information such as phone number and email before rather than after disaster strikes. Store your partners’ contact information in your cell phone and on paper. Plan ahead.


Grading Policy: According to guidelines set forth by Hunter College

During or in relation to class, it is not advised to:

1. provide written or verbal excuses in person or in writing

2. leave notes under professor’s office door or leave notes with assistants

3. hand in assignments at a time except during class when asked by professor, or unless advised otherwise by your professor or teaching assistant

4. arrive late

5. use the internet or phone during class

6. skip class

7. fall asleep or put your head on the desk

8. write unprofessional emails or letters or phone messages

9. come to office without an appointment, unless during office hours

10. treat your classmates or professor in an unprofessional or disrespectful manner

11. use class equipment for non-class related work

12. have food or liquid near equipment

13. ask to be removed from a group that you selected to work with

14. Send mass mailing related to your research studies

15. Ask private “quick” questions (before, during, after class) that are relevant for the entire class. Do you have a question? Raise your hand during class.  This is why you will often hear me ask, “Class, do you have any questions?”

16. forget to bring your log/journal.


Four points of final grade reduced for each occurrence of the above.  If you are late twice and your grade is 90 points (A-) you will end up with 82 (B-).  


I. Class participation: 30 points

This grade includes a combination of active and thoughtful discussion and participation in projects, critical questions and feedback, active and critical review of on-line and in class papers, videos, etc., including oral and written portions, actively and creatively engaging in class discussion, asking good questions, answering questions, class activities such as oral presentations and homework assignments. Please note that careful consideration is given to the quality of participation.

II. 3 out of 4 Tests: 20 points

The lowest grade is dropped. These tests are cumulative. You are responsible for all course content that we have learned to date on all tests.

III. Writing: 50 points

LAB 1, APA Paper 1: 10 points

LAB 2, APA Paper 2: 10 points

LAB 3, APA Paper 3: 10 points

LAB 4, Final APA paper: 20 points

On some assignments you may work in groups. Once you choose to work in a group, you may not select to work alone. You may also select to work alone. Once you decide to work in a group for a given assignment, it is advised that you do not ask to be removed from the group to work alone.

All tests/assignments are cumulative

For all assignments you will receive individual grade and hand in individual assignment, even if you worked in a group.

Your teaching assistant will review his/her grading policies, which I have pre-approved. I will review all of your exams as well as papers before as well as after these have been graded.

Academic Integrity: Plagiarism, dishonesty, or cheating will be punished to the full extent allowed according to Hunter College and CUNY regulations. Hunter College regards acts of academic dishonesty as serious offenses against the values of intellectual honesty. The College is committed to enforcing CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity and will pursue cases of academic dishonesty according to the Hunter College Academic Integrity Procedures.

Counseling Center

“Balancing the demands of college and personal life can be challenging. The Hunter College Counseling Service is here to help students handle this stress and pressure successfully and constructively. At times, just talking can make a difference while other times, more intervention is needed. We strive to help our students manage the demands of life through the provision of confidential and individualized counseling services. Our licensed mental health professionals can assist students in overcoming personal, academic, and/or crisis situations that could negatively impact their progress and success at Hunter College. The Counseling Service works closely with the Office of AccessABILITY, Wellness Services and Advising Services to provide comprehensive and coordinated services to all students. We work to create a learning environment where our students feel safe, respected and valued and facilitate the process of developing a balanced and healthy lifestyle, including care for oneself” From

For appointments, please visit 1123 East Building or call (212) 772-4931.

For assistance after 7:00 pm, or in case of an emergency,


Please call Public Safety at: (212) 772-4444


Try always to Think Ahead: If you feel like you might

have behavioral problems that will prevent you from

completing my class, please seek assistance from

your academic counselor/physician etc. I am not qualified to assist with or

diagnose mental/behavioral issues, illnesses or to provide  counseling.


1. Completion of ENGL 120 with a minimum grade of C

2. Completion of one year of an acceptable laboratory science sequence with a passing


3. Completion of PSYCH 248 (Psychological Statistics) with a minimum grade of C. If you do not remember your statistics, please re-take the course or review.  Note: This course is NOT a review of statistics.

4. Declaration of a psychology major


From the Office of Accessibility: In compliance with the American Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) and with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Hunter College is committed to ensuring educational parity and accommodations for all students with documented disabilities and/or medical conditions. It is recommended that all students with documented disabilities (emotional, medical, physical, and/or learning) consult the Office of Accessibility located in Room E1124 to secure necessary academic accommodations. For further information and assistance, please call (212-772-4857) / TTY 212-650-3230).


Homework and homework readings are due after the date it is assigned. Due to the complexity of the material, it is strongly advised tha that you read the assignments before the class session.

Note that all homework assignments should be completed with correct grammar and punctuation. Unless otherwise specified, write all assignments using complete sentences. Homework counts toward class participation score.

There are a few changes to the class this semester. There are about 20 percent more on-line activities. In an effort to move toward a hybrid class, we will try out more ‘out of class’ assignments and learning activities.

How to read the syllabus: Assignments are due on the class after they appear unless otherwise stated.   Listed on the syllabus are themes, topics that we cover on the day they are listed.

31 JAN 2012

Read and study the syllabus.

If you have questions about the syllabus, please write them down or ask them in class or via e-email or tomorrow. Now is your chance to ask questions or have the syllabus changed if something is unclear or not accurate.

Overview of the course

General ways to succeed in my class.

Basics of research.

Learning Objective: Communicating your research findings. Sharing research, learning to critique science.

Get a voice Thread Account. Learn voice thread. To do this, go to

Get a You-Tube account (If you decide not to use your real name, you may use the name ResearchMethods plus 3 letters or numbers).

Get your books; review your stats.  Know how to do a Chi-square test, t-test, ANOVA and know when to run these stats. 

1  February

Do your CITI training from home or LAB. Print out certificate. Make a PDF of your certificate and send it via email to the TA before 12pm today.

Read your APA manual.

7 February Tuesday

Paper critique in class

Guest Lecture: Why is research methods important in marketing and design?


Read Section 6 and 7  in your APA manual. Pages 169-224. 

Learning Objective: Learn how to find papers, research, learn Psych Info.

Become familiar with Hunter College Databases and Library.

Assignment: Using PsychInfo and Making PDF files.

Find 5 papers in empirical journals on the topic:  Do children understand gravity? 

Type our your references in APA style.  Turn this into a PDF document.  Print the PDF document and bring it to class on Tuesday

Answer the following questions in your journal.

1) Do children understand gravity? Why or why not based on the papers you read? 

2) What search terms did you use? 

Be prepared to discuss in class on Tuesday.

8 February 

LAB 1:  “Science and cereal “

Learning objective: Learn how to make digital stimuli for experiments. How to attach digital files.

HOMEWORK Assignment: Take a photo of any food product with nutritional information/claims (i.e., lose weight… Fight fat) and * symbol.  With 5 classmates make a You Tube Video of your findings and questions for your lab 30 second to 1 minute video.

You will present your findings on Tuesday Feb 14th in class. 

Look at videos of past student project on YouTube Station. Start to get inspired!

Learning Objective: Learn APA. Read APA manual, Again.


I LOVE RESEARCH METHODS!  Valentine’s day party!

Show your you tube videos.

We will discuss

Topic 2 (experimental vs. non experimental design) ((recommend page 5))

Topic 3 (experimental vs. causal studies) ((recommended page 7))

Topic 4 (non experimental research) ((recommended Page 9))

Read: How to ask a research question (class).

Prep LAB 1 (in class)

Basics of IRB. Read through all sections of:

Ethics in Science:


Homework: Do a web search on scandals in science, data fraud, scientific misconduct (be creative in your search). Find an article, read it, bring it to next class. Be prepared to discuss.

LEARNING OBJECTIVE: learn about ethics, write concisely, learn how to use Word Count .

Present; 5 minutes. What did you learn from your investigation?

Note: Due 22  Feb, Learning Objective: Master APA. style. Post A voice thread or Youtube presentation on the blog. 6-8 slides. Teach the class: Based on your APA manual, how to write a research paper in APA style. The link to post will be given in class. Please speak clearly and use font Times Roman or Arial at 16 to 20. Black on White. You may do this in groups (up to 5 in a group).

15 FEB  (wed)


Learn How to critique a paper (BLOG).

How to give a presentation (BLOG)

21 Happy Belated Presidents’ Day. Classes follow a MONDAY schedule today.  So, see you tomorrow!

22  February Wed

Work on lab 1, write up and editing.

28 Feb TUES

Experimental vs. non experimental designs in class.

Learn how to conduct a survey.

29  February ROUND 1 EDITS, Details given in class.

In class presentations of your findings/results.

Homework: Think about and prep for LAB 4 (final project).

Find a survey on-line. Post a link to the survey on BLOG.

6 March TUESDAY (LAB 2)

Basics of surveys

ORAL CRITIQUE OF RESEARCH PAPER # 1 DUE TODAY (You will have a choice of papers to select among).

7 March Wed LAB 2

SURVEY collection lab 2, meet in lab

Your survey should include various types of questions discussed in class.

Topic: Hunter College

Develop your survey, collect pilot data on at least 10 people. Modify your survey if needed based on your findings.

 13 March (Tues) 

********Test 1 today *********

March 14 LAB

More on reading and critiquing the literature.

More drawing methods exercise

20 March 

Lab 2 reviews /critiques edits

Oral presentations of Lab 1 5 minutes.  Bring draft of your paper 2

21 March (Wed)

Finish Lab 2, final touches, revisions

Lab 4: Develop lab 4 research questions.  Present questions Prof

27 March Tuesday

Test 2: For test two you will be asked to write a consent form for a study you will be given in class (be sure to include all elements we discussed in class and in your book).  In addition there will be multiple choice questions

Work on your presentations, practice, ask questions about method and design for lab 4.

28 March presentations and APA paper 2 due at 10:10.

Present Lab 2 on surveys (upload with voice thread or you tube). 10 minute presentation for each group.  That is, ten minutes total. We will watch your voice thread presentation in class.  If you worked in a  group, each of you should do some part of the voice thread. I should hear all of your voices at some point of the presentation.

Your classmates and prof. will view your presentation with critical eye. Is it clear? Does it address the question at hand?  Did you run the correct stats? Are your conclusions correct?  In class, you will have to address our questions.  Are you able to answer these questions?

********************Survey Lab 2 APA paper write-up due 6-8 pages inclusive***

3 April Tuesday

prepare lab on bistander study.


Experiments, Validity, Citing

“Bistander study”

4 April Wed

conduct Lab 3

***********************************  SPRING BREAK!*****6-15 APRIL***********************!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

17 April TUES

bring draft of Lab 3, in class revisions. If you don’t have a draft you likely had a fun Spring Break so now get to work! 

18 April WED

Work on  Lab 3 & 

DATA collection lab 4

24 April Tuesday

*******Test 3**********

Present Lab 3 5 minutes per group, live or YouTube

More on Confounds and Writing

Loose ends, questions about your methods and stats for Lab 4.

25 April  Wed

Paper 3 DUE.  

Data collection Lab 4

1 May Tuesday

Paper Critique in class

2 May Wed

Data collection

Extra Credit Presentations.

8 Tues May

Data collection Lab 4.

Individual group meetings.

**************Test 4***************

9 May  Wed

Bring a draft of your final presentation to class. Review your findings to date, summarize your findings and presentation.

In class, draft reviews, revisions

15 May Tuesday Colloquium!

Refreshments &  1o minute presentations  5 minute questions per group YouTube

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